Europe, germany, Uncategorized

Weekend Trip to Berlin

Two of the main reasons I choose my program, a semester at University College Dublin, was the location to travel Europe and the amount of time to. After only being in Ireland for three weeks, I was ready to head to mainland Europe and visit Berlin, Germany. It is exciting, and a bit scary, the amount of independence I have over here. Having looked at my semester schedule, I realized most of my exams and projects were due throughout April and May. Now, I figured, would be the best time for me to travel. My new friends and I talked about a weekend trip, and only 4 days before leaving, we booked our plane and hostel. It was spontaneous, but the best decision made since being here.

The weekend started on Friday at 4:30am to catch a bus to the airport. No classes on Friday for me! We spent Friday walking around the city and walking through museums. There are so many details and sculptures on the buildings, something you just don’t see in the states. Being in Germany was the first time being somewhere where English wasn’t the primary language. Luckily, most people spoke it a little and I traveled with a friend who took German in high school.

Saturday was all about the sightseeing. If you are traveling in Europe, I highly recommend seeing Berlin! It has a very urban, hipster and young feel to it. Also, if you like history, there is a lot to see too. One of my favorite parts of the trip was learning about the Holocaust at the Topography of Terror museum. If you want to experience traditional Germany, Berlin may not be the place to go, but I enjoyed getting a true taste of the  exciting city.


The breathtaking Berliner Dom Cathedral and the Needle in the background.


The Berlin Wall – East Side. So much talented artwork!


Parts of Berlin have a very urban feel to them.

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The Brandenburg Gate is a must-see!

By the time Sunday rolled around, we were very tired from all the exploring we had done. Hostels are cheap, but not the best for a good night’s sleep (I’ll bring earplugs next time!). We wrapped up our sightseeing, did some shopping at a local art flea market, and tried currywursts. After a long weekend, I was ready to head back to my new home in Dublin. I can’t wait to see where else I get to travel in my 4 months here! Auf wiedersehen, Deutschland!

-Tessa Cowser



Ich liebe Hamburg!

Erzhi Zhou, Hamburg, the BEST program in Germany

Taking a 5 hours bus from Duisburg to Hamburg, was long. However, when I went into the city, I was attracted by the peaceful street with live music, shinning river with cool wind. At that moment, I know I like here!

Walking through the street, I enjoy every moment. Hamburg likes the Seattle in U.S. It is romantic, peaceful and impressive. in Seattle you may hold a cappuccino in the square, but in Hamburg, you will hold a beer in the market. Fish market is a highlight in the whole trip. My friends and I wake up at 7:00 am. The early morning was lazy and comfortable. When we arrived at Fish Market, people was selling fish and flowers, everything. The flowers with bright color made me feel happy, the delicious snacks like Wurst and Pommes is the best partner of German Beer. When I drinking the beer in the morning listening the German Rock n’ Roll, I know it is one of the best moment of my life.

My original view of Germany was a very conserved one, but after visiting I have realized that they are the most romantic and easy people in the world!